Thursday, October 27, 2011

24 Carat Gold Clothing Unveiled, Neck Tie $8500

True luxury knows only one color: gold. A nanometer-thin real gold plating gives this tie and handkerchief authentic golden glow. The yarn fiber is coated in a high-tech plasma process developed by Empa and it  is soft, has weave ability and is even machine washable. The gold necktie is coming before Christmas in a limited edition on the market. Other fashion accessories in 2012.

Legend: tie, bow tie and pocket square from high-tech gold fabric. Real 24 carat gold plating. 

Credit: Empa

A look into the plasma coating system.

This machine, about the size of a family refrigerator is in the spinning Tersuisse in Emmen. Inside the apparatus, a piece of gold with fast-flying argon-ion bombarded and is thus removed. Gold atoms fly away - and settle on a polyester thread that is pulled slowly through the machine.This is the beginning of a production process that leads first to the world a permanent gold-coated fabric. Even if the thread rolled folded, processed, and afterwards washed in weaving - the precious metal will adhere. Gold shines purple - at least when it is sprayed, atom by atom.

Culmination of ten years of research
for ten years researching textile experts at Empa in St. Gallen already on the way, she sputtered titanium, aluminum, steel, copper and silver and left the metals in atomic form patter on polyester yarns. The aim of the project, first a silver thread that several customers were soon found: with silver threads have an antibacterial effect - that interested a sock factory. The fashion industry was looking for a lasting durable silver material. Silver is also electrically conductive -. That made ​​the Empa thread to the proper basis for sensor components and for anti-static filter materials for the industry

What goes with silver could also work with gold, found the project partners and launched in January 2010, the "golden thread project." Meanwhile, the production is stable in the coating system. The first kilometer gold thread were produced in the summer of 2011. 2012, the emissions can be further increased. Further processing is handled by two project partners: Weaving Weisbrod Zürrer-AG in Hausen am Albis and embroidery Jakob Schlaepfer, St. Gallen.

Exclusive: The tie will be produced in 2011 in a limited edition of twelve copies. Price per piece: 7500 francs.
 Credit: Empa

Exclusivity has its price: CHF 7,500 ($8530) per tie
is one of the first customers for the gold threads, the Weisbrod-Zürrer AG. The weaving produces exclusive decorative fabrics, ties and accessories and was a partner at the Empa in previous projects. Also, a gold tie was already tried using conventional equipment: A thread was wrapped with a thin gold wire, similar to a guitar string. The substance, however, felt rough and metallic and was not durable enough for all parts of the tie: Only the front end could be hanging out in gold, the more mechanically stressed part on the nodes around the neck and had to remain black.

The new gold tie from the Empa plasma coating creates a far more elegant appearance now: The gold fabric, woven from threads of gold and black silk, can cover the whole tie - and he feels very soft. Other products are conceivable, such as handkerchiefs, flies, scarves, handbags or even lace applications. So far, only three ties for fabric was produced about a dozen more are to follow by Christmas. The first worldwide Limited Edition, tailored to the Zurich tie factory Hofmann and Co Ltd, will come for 7500 francs per piece, "the man".

How much gold is on it?
A question that should interest not only the proud owner of a gold tie. At least when he steps into the sunlight and his necklace characteristic begins to glow, his interest is sure of his surroundings. The calculation is simple: on a length of cloth, from the three ties can be produced, are 25 grams of pure gold (24 carat). So shines a tie thanks to about 8 grams of gold.

Tie, bow tie and pocket square are sold by Weisbrod-Zürrer AG. The St.Gallen embroidery Jakob
Schlaepfer will use the high-tech golden thread in her haute couture collection winter 2012/13.

 Credit: Empa

In the future the gold tie will not be commoditized. At full capacity, could produce a maximum of 600 units per year for the global market. Certainly there will be much less - because part of the production is reserved for other project partners. Will use the embroidery and decorative fabric factory Jakob Schlaepfer the golden thread for their next winter haute couture collection 2012/13.

Source: Empa



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